Villeneuve to quit if no improvement

Recently Jaguar's Eddie Irvine said he would quit the team if there was no improvement, now Jacques Villeneuve has stated the same if BAR fail to produce a competitive car. Boss David Richards is to implement changes within BAR; Villeneuve said he...

Recently Jaguar's Eddie Irvine said he would quit the team if there was no improvement, now Jacques Villeneuve has stated the same if BAR fail to produce a competitive car. Boss David Richards is to implement changes within BAR; Villeneuve said he will review the situation at the end of the season and could leave to go elsewhere if things don't get better.

The Canadian has had a tough three years with BAR, trying to help build up the struggling team. When previous boss and manager Craig Pollock departed as principal at the end of last year, many thought that Villeneuve would follow suit. Contractually, however, the former world champion is obliged to stay until the end of 2002.

The Malaysian Grand Prix did nothing to improve his spirits, managing to bring his car home eighth to a no-points finish. Things need to improve quickly for Villeneuve to remain with BAR: "If things do not get better this year I will leave,' he said. "This is the fourth season now and it is obvious that we are not going forwards. I have to look around to see what possibilities there are. I'm happy with the improvements we've made to the car but the engine still needs to be better; a lot depends upon Honda. At the same time we just have a poor aerodynamic package, which is difficult to believe after four years."

Richards is believed to have met with the board this week to outline the changes he intends to make: it's been suggested he may oust technical director Malcolm Oastler in favour of aerodynamic specialist Eghbal Hamidy who has recently been rumoured to be leaving Jordan. Richards also wants to talk to Honda about the developments on its 2002 engine and what it has planned for the future.

Villeneuve says he has no plans for next year as yet but is keeping his options open should BAR fail to improve. For the moment he intends to honour his contract: "I have a contract, so I am doing the season," he stated. "If something happens, you will hear about it, but right now there is nothing in the pipeline."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Jacques Villeneuve , David Richards
Teams Jordan